Becoming involved with the criminal justice system is typically a beginning without end for anybody charged with a major crime. The emotional impact extends well into the family, with each person managing their anger, denial or rejection differently. Proven guilty, the punishment would be expected, and individual feelings ostensibly dealt with. This aftermath has a profound effect on the lives of parents, spouses, children, and siblings. Households deteriorate when a family member is criminally prosecuted. Finances, marriage, mental health, and educations are classically affected. Obviously, collateral damage is a functionality byproduct of our criminal justice system and a daunting journey for any family.
Yet considering this enigma, we can still save generations of family and millions of taxpayer dollars that are wasted every year prosecuting wrongful convictions.
There are 2,300,000 people currently incarcerated in prisons in the United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics from the United States Department of Justice conceded that 8% to 12% of state prisoners are factually innocent. If the error ratio of rightful convictions resides around ten percent nationally, over 200,000 innocent people are currently imprisoned for crimes they did not commit and deserve judicial recourse.
Politics not justice has become the motivating force behind our criminal justice system. It has evolved from a public service entity into a results-oriented business, where human lives and families are the bottom lines. Elected officials are expected to be productive, to substantiate their position and secure their careers. Consequently, justice and integrity are compromised for personal motive and the wrongful convictions passed off as collateral damage.
Public officials who are responsible for wrongful convictions have knowingly restricted a citizen’s right to a fair trial thru a lack of integrity, engaging in prosecutorial misconduct. By withholding or fabricating evidence, leading to a guilty verdict, many career prosecutors have aggressively pursued life or death sentences for innocent individuals, brazenly accusing people of crimes while having full knowledge of the defendant’s likely innocence. Though many public officials remain impartial and have full respect and dignity for the rule of law, statistics show that judicial malfeasance and prosecutorial misconduct are an ongoing problem. A wrongful conviction is a blight upon our criminal justice system and a journey that no family should be made to take.